Today's UK album charts are remarkable for lovers of classical crossover music and, I think, they deserve this "special" thread. High up in the top ten we have...
[glow=blue,5,1500]the three tenors![/glow] UK Pop Album Chart - Sunday 19 March 2006
This Week (Last Week) Artist -Title (Weeks in Chart)
01 (02) CORINNE BAILEY RAE - Corinne Bailey Rae (3 weeks) 02 (NE) RUSSELL WATSON - The Voice - The Ultimate Collection (NE) 03 (03) JACK JOHNSON - In Between Dreams3 (47 weeks) 04 (01) DAVID GILMOUR - On An Island (2 weeks) 05 (04) ANDREA BOCELLI - Amore (2 weeks) 06 (NE) VITTORIO GRIGOLO - In The Hands Of Love (NE)
This is the very first time that three solo albums by tenors have been in the top ten at the same time and it is Russell's highest ever chart position - his previous best being his debut The Voice which reached no. 5.
Russell's album DOES qualify for the classical chart but the other two - although classical crossover albums - do not. In a minute, I will post the classical chart too, then the relevant parts of the UK charts report from Music week... give me 5 minutes!
PS Not only the crossover albums but I also quite like the Corinne Bailey Rae and David Gilmour (Pink Floyd) albums too... so that makes a pretty good top of the album charts for me, this week!
Bailey Rae returns to top spot on Albums Chart 19 March 2006 - 19:05:15
A fortnight after making a spectacular first appearance on the albums chart at number one, Corinne Bailey Rae returns to the summit with her self-titled set, which rides a 24.4% dip in sales to 50,732 to regain its perch, writes Alan Jones.
The album's three week cume rises to 226,069, a total which includes a first week sale of 108,181 - the highest ever first week sale for a debut album by a female solo artist apart from the 113,117 start made by Beyonce's 2003 album Dangerously In Love - though, of course, Beyonce was already an established star with Destiny's Child, whereas Bailey Rae has no prior album chart experience.
Runner-up to Bailey Rae is The Voice: The Ultimate Collection by Russell Watson. There was much speculation (rightly) in the papers about the fact that three tenors would feature in the Top 10 this week for the first time ever.
As it turns out, with Watson at number two, Andrea Bocelli at number five and newcomer Vittorio Grigolo at number six, they did even better than anticipated. All three are signed to labels in the Universal group but only Watson's album appears in the classical chart; to qualify as classical, more than 60% of the playing time of albums must comprise classical repertoire, something that neither the Bocelli or the Grigolo albums achieve.
Fresh from his success on BBC TV's Just The Two Of Us, which he won with actress Sian Reeves, Watson lands the highest charting album of his career, with sales of 45,250. The 39 year old from Salford has sold just 14 albums short of 2m since his recording career started in 2000, with his introductory album - also called The Voice - providing both his previous highest chart placing (number five) and biggest cumulative sales (737,813).
Heralded as "the new Pavarotti" by Classic FM, Vittorio Grigolo has been hard to avoid on TV recently, appearing on programmes like Loose Woman and Des & Mel. Additionally, adverts for his debut album In The Hands Of Love were aired all last week, helping the 28 year old Italian's UK chart career to get off to a flying start, with the album debuting at number six on sales of 31,776.
Aside from Watson and Grigolo, only Placebo register a Top 10 album debut this week
This is big news. More, from the BBC below. I think this is great news for classical crossover and hopefully, it will help to persuade mainstream radio stations to WAKE UP and give more (any!) airplay to crossover singers including Hayley.
Tenors' albums make chart history
Tenors Andrea Bocelli, Russell Watson and Vittorio Grigolo have made UK chart history by each having albums in the top 10 at the same time.
Corinne Bailey Rae's album of the same name topped the chart while Watson's Ultimate Collection was at number two and Bocelli's Amore was at five.
Newcomer Vittorio Grigolo's In the Hands of Love debuted at number six.
The Three Tenors - Luciano Pavarotti, Placido Domingo and Jose Carreras - have appeared in the top 10 at the same time only when they recorded together.
Watson has sold more than four million albums worldwide
Grigolo, 29, has been dubbed "Il Pavarottino" by the Italian press in recognition of his resemblance to Pavarotti.
He sang with the Sistine Chapel choir from the age of nine and now incorporates rock covers by acts such as Keane in his set.
Fellow Italian Bocelli, who is blind, is a multiple Classical Brit Award winner who also sang at the second wedding of Luciano Pavarotti.
Watson, another Classical Brit winner, won the celebrity TV singing show Just the Two of Us earlier this month after he was paired with actress Sian Reeves from BBC One's drama Cutting It.
HMV's Gennaro Castaldo said: "The first time we really saw the phenomenon of classical music crossing over into the mainstream in this way was through the massive popularity of the Three Tenors in the early 1990s.
Vittorio Grigolo joined Milan's La Scala opera house at the age of 23
"Now the likes of Andrea, Vittorio and Russell are achieving a similar effect with a new and younger audience."